One sure-fire way to losing out big time on your business profits is from incidences of excessive refunds and chargeback requests. If the number is high in any period you could risk losing your third-party merchant account altogether.
So what do you do when there are some who will request a refund within 15 minutes of purchasing your product?
Or even pettier are those who will wait until the last possible moment to request a refund. Well, not all is lost because merchant account providers are very well-informed as to the credit card numbers of persistent refund and chargeback claimants. Just like their list of fraudulent credit card users, stolen credit cards, etc, they have a database of what I call “Refund Junkies”. There appears to be no end to the unethical tactics some people will use to get your product for free.
Use the following tips to further safeguard against refunds and expensive chargeback costs. The good news is that refunds are easy to process and do not carry any additional fees. However, as a merchant, you want to ensure that refunds are kept to a minimum.
1. Clearly State the Billing Name
First and foremost state the name of your third-party credit card processor on your sales pages and include them in your terms and follow-up email receipts so that customers are fully aware of what company name will appear on their billing statements. This will reduce the number of customers who do not recognize the billing name on their statements from contacting their credit card issuers for a chargeback. This one factor can lead to an unprecedented number of chargebacks claims.
2. Provide Your Customer Support Details
Provide your email address so that customers can contact you regarding any queries about their order. Make sure that you answer them in a timely manner to avoid unnecessary delays. If a customer is not responded to promptly they are very likely to make a refund request.
3. Offer Lifetime Updates
Offering your customers lifetime updates to your product and services to add value and will encourage them to remain customers in the knowledge that they will always receive the most current edition of your goods.
4. Reward Loyal Customers With Exclusive Privileges
Offer your customers a product that can be used freely as long as they are fully paid members, as part of a membership site. Or use a tool that is only available to customers and cannot be accessed after a refund request is made. As long as your offer is valuable to your customers and members you are will substantially reduce the number of refund requests.
5. Provide The Best Guarantee
Your guarantee could become a thorn in your side if you have a very short time span before customers can test out and use your product. But studies show that the longer the guarantee period the fewer refund requests are made because customers are more comfortable with their rights to cancel if the product or service does not meet their needs.
This is at your discretion as a merchant, so testing is important to work out what is best for you. Remember to take into account that some third-party processors have a limit on the maximum refund time their merchants can issue to customers.
6. Accurate Product Descriptions
Avoid making bold claims that are too good to be true if you cannot deliver the results. You could be setting yourself up for a big fall and your customers will request refunds if your product description does not fulfill their needs.
You could also be breaking the law and be liable to charges if a lawsuit is brought against your company. Make sure your sale letter accurately reflects your goods for sale and highlights the TRUE benefits of owning the goods.
7. Surprise Bonuses
It is a great surprise when you buy something and receive additional unadvertised bonuses. This can warm your customers to your company and can only please them. It also demonstrates that you do not need to publicize your bonuses because you believe in your product so much that it will sell on its own merit.
All too often I have read articles and statements claiming that with third-party merchant accounts there are no chargeback fees and that you never have your company name display on customer statements. These claims are inaccurate.
The facts are that some do not have chargeback fees. I have personally researched 90+ third-party processing companies and have contacted them to verify certain key points in their terms of contract and fee schedule.
There are some third-party processors that do not issue chargeback fees or refunds, such as can be found with some digital gold currencies. In this case, the merchant must initiate a refund directly to the customer.
There are some third-party processors who do not levy chargeback fees, but you will find that these are very few in number, and they will typically have a higher processing fee to cover their costs. Don’t be mistaken in thinking that third-party processors do not pass on chargeback fees to their merchants. You only have to read their terms in full to find out exactly what you can expect to be charged for per chargeback incident. I highlight these important facts in my book The A-Z of No Merchant Accounts for your convenience.